Residents shocked by preliminary LRT work


RESIDENTS of Putra Heights and Taman Subang Alam in Shah Alam, still hoping that the state government will reconsider the construction of the proposed LRT extension route, are shocked to find out that preliminary piling works have started.

Subang Alam Residents Association (Sara) deputy president Jamaludin Sharif said residents were surprised to see work at station 12 started before the final research report by the appointed independent geologist was announced to the residents.

“We are very disappointed that the state government has allowed the work to begin, without any guarantee of safety for residents living nearby and train users,” he said at a dialogue recently.

During the dialogue, Dr Tajul Anuar Jamaluddin, who volunteered his services to the residents in coming up with an in-depth research of the location, took time to explain why the location was unsuitable for the project.

He said the proposed route ran between the Taman Subang Alam residential area and a lake, which was a former rock quarry, just 20m apart.

“Rock quarry faces are usually vertically cut and are often very steep, like a 90 degree cut. When the quarry ceases operation, there is no rock stabilisation or treatment, hence loose rocks with overhangs are common,” he said, citing examples of exposed former quarry locations in Cheras, Rawang and Kajang.

Such exposed surfaces, he said, needed to be studied and protected with wire netting and rock bolts to prevent untoward incidents such as rock fall.

The situation differs in Taman Subang Alam as the rock slope where the LRT tracks will be constructed, is submerged in the lake.

“No one can tell how stable the rock slope is and without detailed geological mapping, the stability remains unknown,” said Dr Tajul, who is attached to the South-East Asia Disaster Prevention Research Institute.

He said looking at evidence from the exposed rocks nearby, the granite rock could be heavily fractured caused by neighbouring rock blasting activities.

“Excessive disturbance on the slope’s stability is expected to occur, with wider joints and fractures on the rocks if construction proceeded with piling works.

“We can show you where a collapse may happen, if it happens,” he told the residents.

A resident asked if it would be safer to drain the lake before construction began.

“We cannot simply empty the lake, we must do a study to see what are the effects if the water is drained. Rocks may fall out too as the lake has been in this condition for a long time,” he said.

Resident Ibrahim Abu Bakar said the residents hope the state government would seriously consider its suggestion of an alternative route, jointly prepared with the Shah Alam City Council, .

He said the route may be 2.1km longer and cost more but would definitely be safer and could serve a larger volume as it would pass by commercial areas, schools and offices.

The alternative route is also seen as a better choice by the residents because it covers both Section 27 and 28.

Sara committee member Ahmad Shakir Abu Hassan said the residents would continue to engage with the state and hopes to be invited for the Selangor Economic Action Council meetings.

“We are told that the state’s independent geo-logist has concluded his research and the report has been sent to the state and Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

“We want them to send us a copy,” he said, adding that the residents were not opposing the LRT extension project but were worried about safety.

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